Night Shift Help!!

  1. 0
    I am still on orientation with my unit and switched to night shift after working days (I applied for nights, we need the $$). What tips can you give me to make sure I get enough sleep but also spend time with my family? I have a one year old and my husband is military. I swear I am either working or sleeping, and 1/2 the time too tired to even cook especially when I have back to back shifts.... Help!!

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  2. 20 Comments...

  3. 2
    Is your husband overseas right now? If not and he is working after you get home from work do you have someone who can watch the baby? I find that making sure someone can watch my 3 year old after I work either in my house or their house helps me get the sleep I need after working a night shift. Also taking a nap before work from like 1-3:30 or 4 is helpful too. If you little one still takes naps then that is a good time to lay down.

    If you work a night and have a few days off sleep until like 1 or 2 then get up and you can sleep later that night and be up to be with you one year old the next morning.

    Adjusting to nights will take some time. Make sure the house is cool and quiet. Dark too. If you have to put foil on the bedroom windows to keep light out. Run a fan for white noise. I cannot sleep without a fan. Stop drinking caffine during your shift after about 1am. Drink plenty of water. It can be hard to maintain a normal schedule on you day off but it can be done.

    For those days you work back to back look up some crock pot recipes. They can cook while you sleep and be ready for dinner when you get up. It is an option I am looking into myself. Meal planning helps too. My husband helps out tons with cooking.
    Last edit by nrsang97 on Jul 1, '13 : Reason: added
    twinmommy+2 and TXRN2 like this.
  4. 1
    Black out shades, ear plugs or a white noise machine, and Benadryl (or Ambien). Hire a childcare provider for your infant, if you don't already have one, so that you can actually get a large chunk of quality sleep during the day.
    besaangel likes this.
  5. 0
    I have always worked nights. I agree with the others that it will be easier to have someone babysit on the days after you work, if you can afford it. If not, maybe your husband can get the baby up when he gets up and do breakfast, and by the time you get home and are ready for bed, it may be nap time. If you can, try to work either all of your shifts in a row (if you work 3 12 hour shifts, this can give you a big chunk of nights off afterwards) or try to spread them by working one or two nights at the beginning of the week, and then finish at the end of the the week. If you have trouble sleeping during the day, Benadryl is always helpful, as are the black out shades the others mentioned. I also do a lot of crockpot meals, and I also freeze a lot of meals so they can be warmed up.
  6. 0
    We pay for full time daycare for our toddler. My boyfriend takes him to daycare in the morning and I come home to a quiet house to sleep on mornings after my shift. If I am off for some days I get back to a day schedule by waking up at one or two that day so I can sleep a normal night sleep. Benadryl is my best sleeping friend! Yes your sleep patterns will be skewed but you get used to it. With night shift I can have dinner with the family before I work. If I worked days, I wouldn't see our son as he is awake 7ish to 8, so a day shift means I leave before he is up and come home after he is asleep.
    The downside is the prep before a shift; I stay up late the night before can sleep the day of my shift. I lose precious day time the day before and the day after. One shift essentially uses two days worth of precious daylight. The money is good and the stress level is lower on nights but it does take a toll. Good for now, but not for the long haul. Those without kids or much older kids can do It for longer term.
  7. 0
    I am slowly getting use to working nights. My husband has been a huge help! My son goes to daycare so there is someone to watch him while mommy catches up on zzzzz's. I do not see myself doing nights forever though...
  8. 0
    You said you need the money when in fact your husband in the military?
  9. 4
    Quote from Born_2BRN
    You said you need the money when in fact your husband in the military?
    The military doesn't necessarily pay very well. Many military families are on social welfare programs like food stamps & wic.

    Sent from my HTC One X using allnurses.com
  10. 0
    True if they chose to like when they decided to have too many children and only one of them working. Yes military does pay well. They pay for housing, free medical and a steady paycheck something the civilian sectors do not offer. If the OP works they are well above average. What I'm trying to say is that do not be greedy, take your baby's steps. Learn how to walk before trying to run. I hate to be away from my baby and you will loose out a lot. They grow up so fast!
  11. 0
    I have worked nights for over 25 years. I look at it no differently than if I were working days. On days I would have been up and gone before my children were even out of bed and returning home when there would only be a couple of hours to spend with them before they had to go to bed. Working nights I saw them in the morning before going to school, would sleep while they were gone and was there when they came home. I do know some people that try to do everything during the day like they had not worked the night before and that does not work. I am not available during the day just like I would not be available if I were at work at that time. I am not available during the day just like you are not available at midnight or 5 am to make supper for me. 12 hours of the day are spent at work and a certain number of hours are required for sleep whether you work days or nights.


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